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Indian Court Denies Late-Term Abortion To Teen Raped By Her Doctor

| by Maura Turcotte

A court in India has denied a late-term abortion for a 14-year-old girl who was raped by her doctor, reports The Huffington Post.

The young girl, who legally cannot be named, visited the doctor in February for typhoid treatment. According to her claims, the doctor injected her with a sedative and, as she lost consciousness, he raped her.

In fear of the doctor, the girl did not tell anyone about the sexual assault. A few months after the incident, she fell ill and was taken to a hospital. There, she discovered she was pregnant, report The Huffington Post and The Indian Express.

Upon discovery of the pregnancy, the rape incident was reported to the police, who went on to arrest the doctor.

The young girl’s father approached the Himmatnagar sessions court for permission to terminate the pregnancy. He argued the girl was too young to take care of child. He also claimed the family did not have the means to support another child, The Huffington Post reports.

"The father of the victim is a laborer and does not have enough resources to take care of the child to be born,” the teenager's lawyer, Pradip Bhate, told The Times of India.

In India, the law does not allow abortions of pregnancies after 20 weeks and the young girl’s pregnancy at this point had just passed its 20th week. Consequently, the sessions court rejected the father’s petition.

The victim’s father then moved the case to the Gujarat High Court. The high court upheld the lower court's ruling, citing once again the law that forbids terminations of pregnancies after five months, reports The Jakarta Post.

Judge Abhilasha Kumari who oversaw the high court ruling explained that while it was a "difficult" decision, "whatever be the circumstances in which the child was conceived, whatever the trauma of the young mother, the fact remains that the child is also not to blame for being conceived." The judge added, "It did not ask to be born ... The child is innocent, just like the victim, its mother.”